By EW Staff
Updated October 15, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT
Doane Gregory

The first English-language film from Oscar-nominated Danish director Susanne Bier (After the Wedding), Things We Lost is a drama about a woman (Halle Berry) who, following the death of her husband (David Duchovny), invites his heroin-addicted best friend (Benicio Del Toro) into her home. ”There’s kind of a love triangle between us,” Duchovny says of the backstory. ”He’s a junkie; she doesn’t like him in my life. I want to help him, but I also want to stay married. Some terrible s— happens. A lot of tears are cried. And hopefully it will be uplifting by the end.”

As Del Toro’s character tries to build a new life for himself and get sober, he helps Berry and her kids recover from their loss. And it’s not long before the two adults connect on an adult level. ”It’s hot and pained at the same time,” Bier says. ”Halle and Benicio are extremely sexy…. I think that’s probably why an audience will want to see it.” But if that’s what brings them to the theater, they might be surprised by what they actually see when the lights go down. ”It’s not really about my character’s sexuality,” says Berry. ”It’s about learning to allow herself to grieve so that she can come out on the other side.”

Was it hard to bawl on camera? ”It’s funny,” Berry says. ”People say, ‘Whoa, that must’ve been really gut-wrenching.’ And for me, it’s the opposite. When I’m working on a movie and I have nothing much to do — that’s gut-wrenching!” Still, she was lucky to team with a director who says she approaches such delicate scenes as if ”treading on a newly fallen snow: You don’t want your footsteps on it, you want it to be innocent until you really need it.” Berry enjoyed working with a female director ”because we communicate in the same way.” But, she adds, ”a good director is a good director.”